Finland Oulu

Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu

Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH)

Brief Overview

CERH is a research and education unit which comprises a multidisciplinary group of researchers with expertise in epidemiology and biostatistics, clinical medicine, biology, genetics, environmental sciences, ecology, geography and anthropology. Mission is to produce information to promote human health in a changing global environment, which is implemented through multidisciplinary research, wide international collaboration, education, consulting functions and contribution to national and international public health guidelines. The ground-breaking approach is to apply multidisciplinary complementary research methodologies by conducting broad nationwide registry-linkage studies, follow-up of population-based epidemiologic studies, controlled experimental studies and synthesize the evidence applying meta-analyses and burden of disease assessment.

Research Areas

Asthma\Environmental medicine & lung diseases\Epidemiology\Genetics

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)\ European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

CERH has 12 rooms for researchers/personnel, 1 room for clinical research involving patients, pollen lab (microscope), work stations (computers) for 27 people with access to university databases and intranet, and laptops for laboratory and field work. All researchers have access to analysing software and office programs required for their research. The help of statisticians is available. IT-support is provided by the Faculty of medicine. We collaborate with Oulu University Hospital and the HUS Skin and Allergy Hospital, Helsinki. CERH is a part of the Medical Research Center (MRC) Oulu and a Biocenter Oulu so the shared infrastructure is also available.

Research funding/Resources

CERH has 5 researchers and several doctoral students doing respiratory health related research. Ongoing respiratory field related projects include Academy of Finland funded Global health risks related to atmospheric composition and weather (GLORIA), EU ECHO funded EXTReme tEMperature Alerts for Europe (EXTREMA), and EU H2020 funded Evaluation, control and Mitigation of the EnviRonmental impacts of shippinG Emissions (EMERGE). CERH was selected to be Biocenter Oulu Group providing position for postdoctoral researcher and doctoral student 2020-2023. CERH hosts two significant datasets, the Espoo Cohort Study (ECS) and the Finnish Environment and Asthma Study (FEAS) which are used in the research projects.

Links to non-academic sector

We collaborate with the Oulu University Hospital, Oulu and the HUS Skin and Allergy Hospital, Helsinki and with the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Helsinki. An important activity is co-operation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and CERH has been designated as the WHO Collaboration Centre in Global Change, Environment and Public Health from May 2014 onwards.

Experience hosting international researchers, career development & training programmes, outreach activities

Since 2011 CERH has hosted 5 international postdoctoral researchers, 3 international doctoral students and several international visiting researchers, students and guest lecturers. CERH has a project secretary that will help the researchers coming from abroad with organizing the housing, the administrative processes, governmental offices and is familiar with the procedures needed. At CERH the researchers have a possibility to work closely with researchers from different stages of career, other post-docs, lecturers and adjunct professors as well as emeritus professors. Possible to take part in teaching, for example supervising group works of medical students. Postdocs have a possibility to take part in supervising or leading doctoral students. At the University of Oulu all researchers may advance in their careers through the personal career path. Development discussions are held every year with the supervisor, center director.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award